HB 953 Signed by the Governor as ACT 753

Louisiana House Bill 953 (HB 953) was signed by the governor as ACT 753.   This bill provided relative to life safety and property protection and conveyance devices

The previous law (Act No. 598 of the 2018 R.S.) required the owner of a building with two stories occupied by a single tenant wherein employees of the tenant are regularly inside of the building to have at a minimum, a safety test of the building’s conveyance device in five-year intervals, effective July 1, 2024.

The new law, Louisiana ACT 753 changes the effective date of Act No. 598 of the 2018 R.S. from July 1, 2024, to July 1, 2040.

SB332 Signed by the Governor as ACT 516

Louisiana Senate Bill 332 (SB 332) was signed by the governor as ACT 516.   This bill repealed the Occupational Licensing Review Commission.

The previous law created the Occupational Licensing Review Commision and required them to meet as needed.  The responsibility of this commission was to supervise the state executive branch occupational licensing boards.  While its supervision did not extend to disciplinary action it did require the commission to issue resolutions necessary to effectuate provisions and submissions of the occupational licensing Board.

The present law, Louisiana SB 332 has done away with the Occupational Licensing Review Commission effective January 1, 2025.

2024 1st Place Scholarship Awarded

The Louisiana Life Safety & Security Association (LLSSA) is honored to offer a Youth Scholarship Program. The program was created to promote goodwill among the electronic systems industry and police, fire, and EMT officials by providing college scholarship awards to their deserving sons or daughters.  

This year’s first place goes to Christa-Ann Kees.  Christa is a graduate of Buckeye Highschool with a GPA of 4.07.  She plans to attend Louisiana Christian University in the Fall.  Her father, Kevin Kees is the Assistant Fire Chief of England Airpark Fire Department.  Christa-Ann impressed the Scholarship Committee with her academics but won our hearts with her adoration for her father and her commitment to her being the best she can be to make her family proud.

We congratulate Christa-Ann on her academic success and wish her continued success in her endeavors yet to come.  To Kevin we say “Good Job, your daughter is a delight to have met and gotten to know during this process.  Stay safe and thank you for your service to your community.”

You can read Christa-Ann’s essay using the link below.  If you know a High School senior in LA who is the child of a police, fire, or EMT first responder, remind them to apply for this scholarship and perhaps next year we will be announcing their name.

Welcome New Members!

We would like to Welcome our newest Members to the LLSSA.

Paul Sabatier of Superior AV Solutions LLC was accepted as our newest regular member.  You may remember him when he was a member with Bulldog Security.  Make sure you say hello to him at our next meeting in the Lafayette region.
Luminys Systems Corporation has joined as an associate member.  Formerly Dahua, Luminys objective is to deliver cutting-edge solutions and enhanced customer support.  
Pinnacle Marketing was accepted as an Associate Member.  You have seen them many times at our events providing the security industry with a rep firm with a single-minded focus: offer Manufacturer partners and customers best-in-class sales support.  www.pinaclemarketing.com

Make sure you welcome them to the association the next time you see them.

Legal Brief: Things you ought to know about your Alarm Business

Although you certainly don’t need to know every detail or know your financial information in precise detail, you should have a pretty good idea of it. It strikes me as odd when someone says, “I have to ask my accountant.” The funny thing is, most who say that probably don’t even have a regular accountant!

You should conduct your business — from start to finish — as if you’re planning to sell. You should be maximizing the equity in the business. In the alarm business, this is typically done by increasing your recurring monthly revenue (RMR).

RMR is derived by charging for your “after-install” services. Those services can (and often do) include monitoring, repair service plans and inspection plans.

Per-call service and per-call inspection may generate better cash flow when you look at a single account, but, overall, getting all or most of your subscribers into an RMR relationship, rather than per call, will generate the same or more revenue. And, of course, it’ll be more reliable and steadier.

I’ll give an example: You have a fire alarm inspection subscriber for whom you perform an annual (or semiannual, or quarterly) inspection, and you get $1,200 a year. It’s a per-call relationship for the inspection service. When you sell, that customer’s inspection contract will be excluded from the sale purchase price because it’s not contracted RMR.

Now, take the same account, but, this time, charge RMR of $100 per month. It’s a term contract with automatic renewal. That contract is worth $3,000 or more when you sell the accounts.

All security systems — cameras, audio, intrusion, fire, environmental, medical alert, PERS and access control — are still valued and sold based on the RMR model; that is, as a multiple of the RMR.

RMR is generally determined by calculating the gross amount billed to the subscriber and then deducting sales tax and third-party monitoring charges. Often, the central station basic charge is not deducted — it depends on your negotiations.

New Overtime Rule Effective July 1, 2024

Starting July 1, 2024, a new overtime rule will take effect, significantly impacting small businesses across the United States. The Department of Labor (DOL) has updated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations, adjusting the salary threshold for overtime exemption. This change aims to ensure fair compensation for employees working extensive hours while addressing economic shifts and inflation. Here’s what small businesses need to know to stay compliant and effectively manage this transition.

Key Changes in the Overtime Rule

  1. Increased Salary Threshold: The new rule raises the salary threshold for exempt employees from $35,568 annually ($684 per week) to $55,000 annually ($1,058 per week). Employees earning below this threshold are now entitled to overtime pay, regardless of their job duties.
  2. Regular Updates: The DOL has introduced a mechanism for regular updates to the salary threshold every three years. This adjustment will be based on economic indicators to ensure the threshold remains relevant with the cost of living and wage growth.
  3. Non-Discretionary Bonuses and Incentive Payments: Employers can continue to include non-discretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) to satisfy up to 10% of the standard salary level. However, the payments must be made on a quarterly or more frequent basis.

Implications for Small Businesses

  • Financial Impact – Small businesses will need to reassess their payroll budgets to accommodate the increased salary threshold. This change might lead to higher labor costs, especially for businesses with a significant number of employees currently classified as exempt but earning below the new threshold.
  • Reclassification of Employees – Businesses must review their employees’ classifications to ensure compliance. Employees who no longer meet the exemption criteria must be reclassified as non-exempt and are eligible for overtime pay. Proper documentation and communication of these changes are crucial to avoid legal repercussions.
  • Adjustments in Work Schedules – To manage overtime costs, small businesses might need to adjust work schedules or redistribute tasks among employees. Implementing stricter time-tracking policies and encouraging a more efficient workflow can help control the number of overtime hours worked.
  • Employee Morale and Productivity – Reclassification and changes in pay structures can impact employee morale. Transparent communication about the changes, emphasizing the benefits and legal compliance, can help mitigate negative reactions. Additionally, consider offering training programs to enhance productivity and reduce the need for overtime.

Steps to Ensure Compliance

  1. Conduct a Salary Audit: Review current salaries and classifications of employees to identify those affected by the new rule. Determine if pay adjustments or reclassification are necessary.
  2. Update Payroll Systems: Ensure your payroll system is configured to accurately calculate overtime for non-exempt employees. This includes tracking hours worked and applying the correct overtime rates.
  3. Train Management and HR Personnel: Educate managers and HR staff on the new rule, its implications, and how to implement necessary changes. This includes understanding how to track hours, handle reclassifications, and communicate changes to employees.
  4. Communicate with Employees: Develop a clear communication plan to inform employees about the changes, how it affects their pay and classification, and address any concerns they may have.
  5. Seek Legal and Financial Advice: Consulting with legal and financial advisors can provide valuable insights into compliance and help develop strategies to manage increased labor costs effectively.

The new overtime rule effective July 1, 2024, marks a significant shift in labor regulations, aiming to provide fair compensation for employees. Small businesses must proactively prepare for these changes by reassessing their payroll, reclassifying employees, and ensuring robust compliance mechanisms. By taking these steps, businesses can navigate the new landscape efficiently, maintaining legal compliance while supporting their workforce.

Smoke Alarm Alerts Sleeping Homeowner to Fire

SHREVEPORT, La. – A homeowner and her dogs are safe, after an overnight house fire.

It happened at 12:42 a.m. Sunday in the 3200 block of Pines Road.

The Shreveport Fire Department arrived on scene within five minutes and were able to bring the fire under control at 1:52 a.m.

No injuries were reported. The homeowner is crediting her smoke alarm for waking her up and alerting her to the fire. This gave her time to get her and her dogs out to safety.

The cause of the fire and full extent of the damage remains under investigation.

The SFD reminds everyone that smoke alarms save lives! Everyone should have a working smoke alarm installed in the immediate vicinity of all sleeping areas, and on each level of the home. Remember also to have a home escape plan in case the alarm does sound. If you need assistance developing a plan or would like to request a free smoke alarm, contact Shreveport Fire Prevention at 318-673-6740 or visit www.shreveportfire.org.

HB607 Signed by the Governor as ACT 385

Louisiana House Bill 670 (HB 607) was signed by the governor as ACT 385.   This bill provided for changes that directly affect locksmith licensing.

HB 607 was introduced to create additional licensing categories for locksmith under Life Safety and Property Protection.

Key Provisions of HB 607, Now ACT 385

  1. This law adds that automotive locks are included in property protection systems and equipment.
  2. The law adds additional definitions for “automotive locksmith endorsement”, “automotive locksmith technician”, “limited conveyance device mechanic endorsement”, “limited conveyance device mechanic”, “limited locksmith endorsement”, “limited locksmith technician”, “limited security endorsement”, and “limited security technician”.
  3. The law allows the Board of Dentistry to require an applicant to complete an initial clinical licensure examination.
  4. The law allows a board to require adds licensing fees for firms for limited locksmith, automotive locksmith, and limited security. It also adds licensing fees for employees for limited locksmith, automotive locksmith, limited locksmith, limited security, and limited conveyance device mechanic.
  5. The law will be effective January 1, 2025.

Louisiana HB 607 represents a significant step forward in ensuring public safety and enhancing the standards of the life safety and property protection industry. These additional categories will provide for the licensing of additional locksmith in the state and create peace of mind for those using their services.